News from the Chamber - 23 September 2021

An update from the 21 September 2021 Council Meeting. More information is available at 2021 Council Meeting Agendas and Minutes.

Governance Report September 2021

Council considered a summary of recent Governance activity. This included a report on the exercise of delegated authority, Councillor Representatives and delegates reports from committees and records of informal meetings of Councillors.

In addition Council:

  • adopted the Final Draft Live Streaming of Council Meetings Policy 2021
  • noted that Council meetings will continue to be streamed over Zoom until Councillors and a professional services firm are permitted to attend Council meetings in person
  • noted the new winter tenant allocation for More Park Reserve and Arthur Beachley Reserve
  • noted the Brimbank COVID Recovery Business Grant recipients for the completed 2020/21 program
  • accepted various recommendations of the Audit and Risk Committee including in relation to the 2020/2021 Financial Statements and Performance Statement
  • noted a report on ongoing COVID support for Brimbank businesses including proposed fee waivers for the 2021/2022 financial year

Local Jobs for Local People Program

Council adopted a Local Jobs for Local People (LJLP) program which aims to contribute to increased local employment outcomes for Brimbank residents.

While Council cannot directly control this outcome, the program identifies how Council can support, encourage and influence the desired outcome.

The program is built around four pillars including:

  • Strengthening Employment Networks
  • Supporting Education and Training Networks
  • Enhancing the Public Realm and Support Activation
  • Promoting Local Procurement.

The Local Jobs for Local People program was developed after comprehensive research into current local skills capacity, the skills that local employers need, as well as a projection of future needs.

Sunshine Secondary College - Heritage Buildings

Council noted a report about the potential demolition of the heritage buildings at 129 Derby Road, Sunshine, and 111 Derby Road, Sunshine by the Department of Education and Training; recommendations of the Heritage Advisory Committee; and Council efforts to get protection for the heritage buildings.

The Sunshine Technical School building and the Sunshine Girls Technical School buildings are very important from a built form and cultural perspective. Both the school buildings are currently recognised to have regional significance from a historic, social and architectural perspective, including their association with the famous H.V. McKay Sunshine Harvester works.

Council has a responsibility to protect Brimbank’s heritage through legislation available to it. Landowners also have a responsibility to conserve, protect and maintain their heritage places.

Council, with assistance from the Sunshine and District Historical Society, prepared a nomination to Heritage Victoria that the heritage buildings be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. On the 10 September Heritage Victoria advised Council that the nominations had been accepted, and would proceed to the next stage of assessment.

Council will continue to advocate to State Government Ministers, Local Members, relevant State Government departments and agencies, the community and heritage organisations about the importance of retaining and protecting the heritage buildings.

Amendment C216 -Sunshine and St Albans Car Parking Overlay

Council endorsed the draft St Albans Activity Centre Car Parking Plan 2021, and the draft Sunshine Metropolitan Activity Centre Car Parking Plan 2021.

The draft Parking Plans seek to guide the provision, configuration and management of car parking, associated with new use and development.

The draft Parking Plans include schedules to Clause 45.09 Parking Overlay, which seek to lower car parking rates for key land uses in each centre.

Council endorsed the proposed Brimbank Planning Scheme Amendment C216 for public exhibition.

As a next step, Council will seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit Amendment C126 for community feedback.

Climate Emergency Annual Report

Council endorsed the Brimbank Climate Emergency Plan - Annual Report Card 2020-2021.

The Report Card outlines that significant progress was made in the first year of Climate Emergency Plan implementation including:

  • Council signing a 10-year contract to provide 100% renewable electricity to Council’s buildings and facilities
  • park upgrades to create greener and cooler public spaces
  • tree planting to increase tree canopy
  • water sensitive urban design features
  • plans to make the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre all electric powered – with an Australia-first electric heat-pump heating and cooling system.

Financial Statements 2020/2021 and Performance Statement 2020/2021

Council noted and approved, in principle, the Financial Statements 2020/2021 and Performance Statement 2020/2021, prior to forwarding the statements to the Victorian Auditor-General. This is in preparation for the 2020/2021 Annual Report.

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to submit for auditing, the Financial Statements 2020/2021 and Performance Statement 2020/2021, to the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, at the end of the financial year.

The Financial Statements and Performance Statements have been prepared in accordance with all necessary authorities, Acts and Regulations.

Quarterly Portfolios Report

Council noted an update on the key activities of the Councillor Portfolio System during May to July.

There are 11 Portfolios - #Resilient Brimbank, #Brimbank COVID-19

Response and Recovery, #Vibrant Brimbank, #Prosperous Brimbank, #Sustainable Brimbank, #Brimbank People, #Liveable Brimbank, #Brimbank Innovation, #Brimbank Proud, #Healthy Brimbank, and #Connecting Brimbank.

During May to July 2021, 19 portfolio meetings were held via Zoom, with 117 presentations/updates delivered on a range of topics.

Be Kind Online, Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign

Brimbank City Council has launched an anti-cyberbullying campaign, Be Kind Online, aligned with Brimbank’s Community Engagement Policy adopted earlier this year. The Policy states that Council is accountable to the promise of accessibility, fairness, honesty and transparency in the practice of engaging with the community.

Be Kind Online is aimed at encouraging online spaces where users feel safe and respected; where discussions are meaningful, inclusive and constructive; to promote open and respectful conversations to work together, to solve problems and generate new ideas. The campaign acknowledges that while it is okay to disagree, it is not okay to put others down because they have a different opinion.

The importance of creating and promoting safe online spaces is particularly relevant in the context of being a Council that is strongly represented by women, including Brimbank’s current Mayor and eight of the eleven Councillors.

Consisting of a short video, which will be shared on Council’s social media channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube, the campaign reminds people to treat others online like they would in person. Social media users are encouraged to share the video to their networks using the hashtag #bekindonline

Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre Project – September 2021 Update

The update to Council noted that in June 2021 the Registrar of Geographic Names endorsed and gazetted the new name for the facility, Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre.  This followed a number of community suggestions which were reviewed and shortlisted for Council’s consideration by a Facility Naming Advisory Committee. Council selected ‘Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre' as the official preferred name, before lodging the name with the Registrar of Geographic Names for registration and gazettal.

The design team, Williams Ross Architects and the sub-consultant group continue to progress the design.  Fortnightly design workshops are held between the Head Contractor, ADCO and the design team to review and coordinate the remaining design. ADCO are required to deliver the facility to achieve a 5-star Green Star Design and As-Built certification in accordance with the Green Building Council of Australia, and will continue to investigate possible 6-star Green Star certification attainment.

Council has welcomed $1.53 million in Australian Government funding towards an integrated renewable energy system at the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre.

The efficient building shell and high efficiency energy system of the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre is expected to deliver an energy reduction of up to 80 per cent compared to other traditional aquatic centres. It will install an all-electric heat-pump system for heating and cooling and use an 88 thousand litre hot water storage system that acts as a big ‘thermal battery’, and 500 kW of solar panels.

Works are continuing under a COVID-19 Safe Plan and are progressing on budget and remain on track for completion mid-2022 at this stage, noting the impact of the latest COVID-19 restrictions on the construction sector are still to be determined.

‘Transforming Brimbank – Let’s Build it Better Together’ Advocacy Campaign

Council approved a new community advocacy strategy and campaign, promoting a range of asks relating to the Melbourne Airport Rail project. Aspiring for local benefits for the community, not just commuters, the campaign will focus on integrated development for the Sunshine Priority Precinct and Sunshine Superhub, a new Albion Station and Albion Quarter investment.  Council is also seeking a fully funded ‘Brimbank Community Offset Package’ which:

  • recognises that Brimbank will experience the brunt of a decade of construction and disruption for the benefit of other communities across the State
  • will be sensitive to any rail construction plans that do not meet community expectations
  • ensures that Melbourne’s West is allocated its fair share of infrastructure funding from both the Federal and State Governments

Notices of Motion

At the Council Meeting on 21 September 2021, Councillors put forward five notices of motion, these include:

  • Cr Tachos - Melbourne Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group
  • Cr Borg - Calling on Parliament to respond to current situation in Afghanistan
  • Cr Kerr - Supporting local businesses
  • Cr Kerr - Support for Carers and Residents with special needs
  • Cr Rasic - COVID-19 Vaccination